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K-State Today

April 7, 2020

2020 K-State's University Support Staff Award of Excellence winners

Submitted by Human Capital Services

The K-State University Support Staff Award of Excellence recognizes exemplary performance and contributions of staff members who consistently excel in their positions and demonstrate integrity and a strong commitment to the mission and values of K-State.

Kansas State University is recognizing four university support staff professionals for their job performance with the university's 2020 University Support Staff Award of Excellence.

Recipients are:

  • Candace LaBerge, office specialist II, Faculty Senate, in the Office and Clerical category.
  • Thad Pultz, maintenance and repair technician II, K-State Housing and Dining Services, in the Service and Maintenance/Skilled Crafts category.
  • Roy Boller, radiation safety technician, Environmental Health and Safety, in the Technical and Professional category.
  • Carrie Fink, student programs coordinator, Office of the Registrar, in the Belonging category.

LaBerge's primary job is to support the work of the Faculty Senate, which at K-State represents faculty and professional staff across the university. LaBerge has been working in this capacity for about 15 years, and serves as the backbone of this body of shared governance because of her institutional memory and her exceptional professional skills. LaBerge does not simply support the work of Faculty Senate leadership; we consistently call upon her to provide guidance as we move forward on initiatives that affect the entire university. As such, she serves as an integral member of our leadership team. As an example of her outstanding achievement and performance, for the past three years, LaBerge has been easing the transition to Curriculog for faculty senate by manually providing monthly reports of curricular changes on which we vote. All senators are responsible for this review on their own, so this synthesis has been above and beyond her role as a resource for external bodies who are trying to get the curriculum passed. This year alone, LaBerge was central in updating our Academic Affairs curriculum approval processes, and organizing and attending extra meetings — beyond our usual work — for several ad hoc committees that have streamlined the operations of the Faculty Senate.

Pultz transferred to his current position of MRT II approximately one year ago. Since then, he has made significant contributions to improving the "liveability" of Marlatt Hall as well as making a significant contribution to developing and maintaining a strong sense of community and unity within Marlatt Hall. Pultz completed more than 3,000 work orders during 2019, an impressive feat that exceeds the accomplishments of those in comparable positions. It is not only Pultz's care for the structural facility of Marlatt Hall that helps support the mission of HDS and K-State but also his genuine care for the students who live there. To pursue academic achievement, students need, among other things, a safe, comfortable, accessible, well-maintained, inclusive living environment. Housing and Dining Services strives to provide "home away from home" living spaces for student residents. Pultz not only takes care of the maintenance functions of the "home" but is also engaged in building a sense of community and family among the residents.

Boller has made important contributions to the university, the state of Kansas and most importantly the city of Manhattan. He is a valued member of the K-State Environmental Health and Safety team. Boller's dedication to the department and university has been demonstrated time and time again in his willingness to step in and provide assistance to other work groups in the department. His continued monitoring and maintenance of the UV reactor at the Hazardous Waste Site has increased the life expectancy and usability of this piece of equipment by several years. This unit has multiple complexities that clean the water of contaminants before it enters the city's sanitary water supply. This work is in addition to his required duties as radiation safety technician. He also helps the hazardous waste disposal unit by wearing full protective equipment and joins the bulking team. This requires pouring hazardous waste from small containers into large 55-gallon drum containers. Boller's attention to detail and safety procedures is exceptional. He can recognize a hazard before most and takes corrective actions to prevent any possible accident.

Fink is the student programs coordinator for the Office of the Registrar where she is over three distinct units. Fink has many talents with one of them being that she consistently ensures that everyone feels included. She has been instrumental in creating training for her units within the Office of the Registrar to promote teamwork, purpose and belonging. As the Office of the Registrar begins to implement large-scale change, Fink has worked hard to help her teams navigate that change and keep the lines of communication open. She has created various trainings that have reinforced the idea that through all the change, their ultimate goal of serving students remains the same, and that each person plays an integral part in that goal. Fink exemplifies the excellence of inclusive efforts as a university support staff employee who gives so much to the success of not only the Office of the Registrar, but to Kansas State University as well.

Please join the Division of Human Capital Services in congratulating the 2020 award recipients. All award winners receive $1,000 for their contributions to the K-State community.